BrainChase: Summer Learning Challenge Starts Soon

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Next week is Spring Break – which means there are only a few short weeks left until Summer. I am not sure who is more excited about no alarm clocks for 12 weeks – the girls or me. However something I am not looking forward to is days of “I’m bored” and “what can we do?” I also know that along with that boredom (my word children we can not go to the beach every.single.day) comes “brain drain.” Did you know your kids lose one to two months of learning over the summer months? This year we are battling the boredom and stopping the brain drain with a cool new online challenge called Brain Chase.

Brain Chase is an engaging and educational online treasure hunt for kids ages 7-14 supported by curriculum from Khan Academy and other online partners, to help prevent learning loss over the summer months. This five-week online summer learning challenge is like a massive global treasure hunt powered by reading, writing and math that keeps your kids engaged and beats off the “I’m bored!”  The platform can be completely personalized to your child’s academic level and Khan Academy does a pre-test to help students begin in the right place. BrainChase can be played on all major PC browsers as well as on an iPad and can even go with you when you travel!

Brain Chase characters

In addition to returning to school confident and fresh in September, Brain Chase Kid Adventurers get:

  • 5 weeks of structured challenges on external reading and math websites
  • Weekly writing exercises with feedback from credentialed teachers
  • Weekly progress reports emailed to parents
  • Exclusive access to an original animated adventure series loaded with hidden puzzles and clues
  • 3 adventure tools mailed to your home to help solve special bonus challenges
  • Participation in a massive global treasure hunt for a golden trophy containing the key to a safe deposit box holding $10,000

Midge is beyond excited about joining in BrainChase this Summer. At 9 a.m. ET on Monday, June 22, 2015, Brain Chase: The Sunstone of Cortés begins. Adventurers log in to watch the first animated webisode and meet Mae Merriweather, the star of the show. Then they dive into their first week of learning challenges. A proprietary (patent pending) learning management system – the “Dashboard” – tracks each student’s progress as they journey through the 5-week challenge. Each week the adventurers have four tasks: read for 15 minutes per day, write one journal entry, earn 10,000 points on Khan Academy, and do one bonus challenge. When they’re done, they unlock the next webisode, which contains hidden pictures, numbers, and riddles to help them guess the treasure’s location. In addition to the online curriculum, your kids will receive three different packages, each with its own letter and its own project. Midge barely let me take pictures before she ripped in to hers.

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The hunt for the Sunstone isn’t just fiction – there is a real golden Sunstone of Cortés and a key that unlocks a $10,000 scholarship buried somewhere on Earth. Every 24 hours, adventurers can log in to enter their guess of the treasure’s location based on all of the clues from the chase. The first adventurer to guess the location within a two-mile radius travels with his/her family to the treasure site to dig it up and claim the gold.

Sunstone of Cortes banner

Sign up right now for the EarlyBird pricing, and save an additional 15% by using the promo code MOSCATOMOM15.  The Early Bird pricing ends in just a few weeks and spaces are limited so you want to go ahead and sign up now. They have special sibling prices too, so the whole family can get in on the game!

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Sign up now at BrainChase.com and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for sneak peeks to this years challenge!

Nerd Block Jr – Our February Box

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about Nerd Block Jr, a Canadian based subscription box company perfect for your little “nerds” at home? Well Midge received her box and she could not be happier with it. I too was impressed with all that came in it! She had a ball unwrapping it – played with every single thing in it… and promptly asked how she could earn her next box. I would say she is a fan. 

nerd block jr february

Her special Imps and Monsters Nerd Block Jr Box came with a cool coloring/activity book, a journal, two bracelets, a Frozen figurine, and a cute little Pokemon plushie. Midge has just recently gotten in to Pokemon cards thanks to kids on the bus swapping them, so she was super thrilled to get to attach that little guy to her backpack.

nerd block jr

Nerd Block Jr is like the original Nerd Blocks, but there are specially designed for kids ages 6-11 and are full of all of the hot new toys and gadgets that kids love. There are five total Nerd Block boxes to choose from – and to be honest, I think our family needs two. The Nerd Block Jr Girls Box of course.. but check out how cute the Nerd Block Classic one is! I think even Mike would enjoy that one!

nerd block jr boxes

You can easily subscribe to Nerd Block Jr and get a surprise box in the mail every single month! This is also a great idea for long distance grandparents and family who want to send a little something each month! You can even save money when you subscribe for longer periods of time than just one month!

 nerd block subscription

I am super excited to get Midge started with her own subscription and highly recommend it for your kiddos too. It is such a great price for something that will make them so happy, and you can rest assured that the products are safe and appropriate for your littlest nerds. Besides, everyone deserves happy mail days!

If you are ready to sign up simply go to NerdBlock.com to subscribe! Also check them out on Facebook and Twitter for special limited time boxes!

Easy At Home Hair Removal with the Emjoi Epi Slim+ e18

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Here on the Gulf Coast we are getting little glimpses of Summer with a few warm days here and there that assure us that it will not in fact be freezing forever. (thank goodness) Summertime means bathing suit season, and while I am getting my body in top shape to rock a new suit this year with POUND, there are other things you have to make sure are in tip top shape too… like.. ummm… your bikini line. There is absolutely nothing worse than a great body, a great suit, and wicked razor burn that hurts as bad as it looks when you get in to the salty water of the Gulf of Mexico. Thankfully Emjoi has our answer – the Emjoi Epi Slim+ e18.

epi slim e18

The new ultra-portable and ultra-affordable Emjoi Epi Slim+ e18 battery-operated epilator does everything that its larger Emjoi siblings do—removing unwanted hair from the body and face, while doing so with the absolute minimum of discomfort—but in a smaller, lighter package and at an extremely affordable price.

The Emjoi Epi Slim+ e18 features 18 of the same patented 3-disc tweezers that have long made Emjoi products the go-to choice for removing unwanted hair (as short as 0.3mm) from the root from any part of the body. With eRase glide technology, its disc opening at an optimal 14mm and operating at 540 strokes per second, these tweezers remove the majority of hair at the first pass to keep the possibility of skin irritation to an absolute minimum.

So here is what you really want to know… does it hurt? 

Well… it is uncomfortable. I don’t know that I would say it necessarily HURTS – but snatching hair out of a follicle by its root is never going to be a completely painless process. However, what I did find was that when I used it shortly after a hot bath or shower – when your pores are more open than normal – it was much less uncomfortable. It also hurts way less than the sting/itch of razor burn which is the alternative.

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The Emjoi Epi Slim+ e18 is available now on the Emjoi website – and at a price of $34.95 it costs you literally half of what one Brazilian wax would cost! Check out all of Emjoi’s products and get bathing suit ready!

*I received this product free from Emjoi’s publicist.

Five Tips For Whiter Teeth

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If you know me, you know I am a bit maniacal passionate about dental hygiene. For as long as I can remember I have carried a toothbrush and toothpaste in my purse, and it is not uncommon for me to duck in to the restroom for  quick brush the way most people wash their hands. My smile is my favorite feature about myself and it is important to me to keep my pearly whites looking and feeling their best at all times. I am also proud to say that I will be celebrating my 35th birthday this year – and have never had a cavity. Nor have either of my girls. Having a bright, white smile is important to everyone, so when I had the opportunity to team up with Colgate to show off their new Optic white Platinum products – I jumped at the chance.

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Keeping your teeth as healthy and white as they can be does not have to be difficult. With just a few adjustments you can easily be on the road to optimum dental health. Here are a few tips:

1. Avoid dark highly acidic foods like coffee or red wine… or at least brush shortly there after. Girlfriends have made fun of me for carrying a toothbrush… right up until we are out having wine and they all have purple teeth. A quick brush after indulging in your favorite vino can help reduce teeth staining your teeth significantly. Rule of thumb – if it is dark going in, chances are in will stain your teeth. Cola, gravies, juices, etc can all contribute to less than pearly whites.

2. An Apple A Day… also keeps the dentist away! You know what they say about apples keeping the doctor away – but turns out they can help keep the dentist away too! Apples can help clean teeth as they are eaten because of their consistency and acidity. Working like “natures toothbrush,” apples can help keep your teeth clean and healthy when you can’t get to a bathroom to brush. You can take this one step further and gargle with apple cider vinegar. ACV helps remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums.

3. Replace your toothbrush at least four times a year. Using the same toothbrush for months on end is never – ever – a good idea. The bristles in toothbrushes break down and can hold bacteria which lead to bad breath and ultimately can lead to gum disease or gingivitis. Replace your toothbrush often to make sure every time you brush you are getting the best results possible.

4. In the words of Fergie… Flossy Flossy! Ok, no, that isn’t what she meant – but you know what I am getting at. Flossing your teeth really is just as important as brushing. Flossing helps get rid of plaque that you can not see – it isn’t just about getting food out of there. Flossing daily can help you cut down on tooth decay and gum disease.

5. Use products like Colgate Optic White Platinum Express White. Colgate Optic White Platinum Express breakthrough formula is Colgate’s fastest whitening toothpaste to date giving users whiter teeth in just three days! It contains two times more hydrogen peroxide as well as anti-cavity fluoride protection that Colgate is known for. Pair the new toothpaste with the Colgate 360 Optic White Platinum Manual Toothbrush and you have the perfect combination for a whiter smile.

colgate toothbrush

I have been using these products for several days, and I really love them. The toothpaste is a thinner consistency than I am used to and almost feels like it gets warm in your mouth while you are brushing. The bristles on this brush are firm enough to know you are getting clean, without being harsh or irritating. You can pick up these and all other Colgate products at your local store.

Your smile is the first thing people notice about you – so use these five easy tips to make your first impression fantastic!

My #PampersFirsts Party to Celebrate Life’s “Firsts”

*This post is sponsored by Pampers® in conjunction with MomDot. I received product and compensation in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago I was offered a chance to host a #PampersFirsts party with some of my girlfriends to celebrate all of life’s “firsts” with the #1 diaper choice by hospitals in North America. My friends Mary and Jaime were expecting their first babies, so I was super excited to throw a party and invite them! Since they were both so close to their due date, we had our party on Valentine’s Day – which I thought was absolutely perfect! What better day to spend with people I love?!

pampersfirst party

I was so excited about this party I went a little overboard on the food and decorations. A chance to celebrate my friends and babies – how can you not go a little nutty? Even me – the girl who says she is “allergic to babies” still can’t resist throwing a shindig to celebrate bringing new little people into our family of friends. It was fantastic.

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pampers firsts party 2

pampers firsts party

I had so much fun making Diaper Babies, Baby Wash Cloth Critters, Onesie Cupcakes, and Milano Cookie Swaddle Babies – all of which I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks – but none of my food or decorations could could top the fun we all had just being together, laughing, joking – and even a little crying as we all gathered in the living room to watch the Pampers Firsts video – Celebrating Life’s Firsts.

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Pampers understands there is nothing more joyful or rewarding than the precious first-time moments shared by little ones and their families. In honor of this special journey, Pampers has released a compilation video entitled “Firsts” that highlights those wondrous “first” experiences together. From the first time parents see their little one on a sonogram to the first evening home from the hospital, the Pampers “Firsts” video showcases precious, heart-felt moments babies and parents share together. Pampers recognizes that all first moments, no matter how big or small, are moments to be cherished and celebrated. Pampers is honored to be a part of the journey of firsts for millions of families around the world every day.

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We had so much fun that afternoon just talking about life stuff – pregnancy, birthing stories, “firsts” and even going in to tales of potty training and toddler beds. The funny thing is just like our conversation carried through the first years in life – so do Pampers Swaddlers, which now go up to a size six! Pampers listened to moms who said they wanted the Pampers Swaddlers softness they know and love to be available throughout their diapering years. Now from their first to their last diaper you can wrap your little one in Pampers.

pampers products

Pampers Swaddlers wraps baby with superior comfort, protection and blanket-like softness, helping to take care of babies during all the precious first moments they share with their parents. Pampers Swaddlers is Pampers softest diaper and offers up to 12 hours of overnight protection with an Absorb Away Liner® to pull wetness and mess away from babies’ skin. It’s no wonder Pampers Swaddlers is the #1 choice of hospitals in North America!

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Pampers Rewards are another great reason to use Pampers. With the Pampers Rewards Program you can earn points when you purchase Pampers products or by leaving a review on the Pampers Website. The points can then been redeemed for products that you and your family will love. Head on over and leave a review of your favorite Pampers products and start earning points right away!

pampers review

It was a wonderful afternoon and I was so excited to get to be a part of it. AND I am excited to say that Mary (in blue) went in to labor just three hours after our party! Jaime had her little one just two days later! Both of them texted the news and told me their newest little bundles were already wrapped in Pampers Swaddlers. <3

pampers firsts party friends